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‘Be Proactive’, CNS tasks seafarers, ship owners on maritime security



‘Be Proactive’, Naval Chief tasks seafarers, ship owners on maritime security

…As Akeredolu tasks NIS on e-registration of all immigrants in Ondo***

The Chief of the Naval Staff (CNS), Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ibas has prescribed pragmatic measures for ship owners and seafarers to adopt in order to improve their safety and security at sea.

Navy Director of Information, Commodore Suleman Dahun, disclosed this in a statement on Tuesday in Abuja, noting Ibas emphasis on being proactive, in order to keep abreast of unexpected eventualities, including piracy.

He said Ibas, represented by the Chief of Policy and Plans, Naval Headquarters, Rear Adm. Begroy Ibe-Enwo gave the charge at the West African Shipping Summit at the ongoing International Shipping Week in London on Tuesday.

According to the statement Ibas adviced seafarers and ship owners to employ evasive manoeuvres, optimal speed, use of citadels, use of Safe Anchorage Areas and convoy protection where available.

He told the audience that as buttressed by the International Maritime Bureau, there have been a progressive decline in the number of piracy attacks with most of these attacks not being successful,

Ibas noted that the decline in successful attacks was as a result of Nigerian Navy’s (NN) intensified efforts at securing Nigeria’s maritime environment.

He however said that notwithstanding, some successful piracy attacks occasionally occured in Nigerian waters and indeed the Gulf of Guinea (GoG).

The CNS called for more proactive actions by the Nigerian Navy and stakeholders in order to rid Nigeria’s maritime environment of all forms of criminalities.

Ibas observed that most of the issues involved in the security of Nigeria’s maritime domain stemmed from non-military causes which usually manifest in the form of piracy.

The naval chief said other causes included economic crimes and theft of hydrocarbon resources as well as other transnational organised crimes.

He reaffirmed NN’s efforts at putting in place a viable domain for maritime business to thrive.

He highlighted some of Nigerian Navy independent operational engagements established to check criminality at sea.

He said these included Operation TSARE TEKU an anti-piracy operation and Operation RIVER SWEEP which is an anti-Crude Oil Theft (COT) and anti-Illegal refining operation.

Ibas recalled the successes of the two operations in the past 3 years.

The CNS said that the anti-piracy operations contributed to significant improvement in shipping into Nigeria’s maritime environment.

He said the Nigerian Navy maintains regular engagements with various stakeholders to further enhance maritime operations.

Ibas appreciated the support of the Nigerian Government in enhancing the response capability of the Nigerian Navy through the acquisition of more patrol vessels and aircraft.

In another development, Gov. Oluwarotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State, on Tuesday, called on the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) to ensure that all citizens participate in the ongoing e-registration, to checkmate the activities of illegal immigrants in the country.

Akeredolu made the call in Akure while receiving the State Comptroller, NIS, Ondo State Command, Mrs Eunice Aboyade-Yebovi, who paid him a courtesy visit.

READ MORE...Navy arrests 2 trawlers for illegal fishing, instead of ‘shrimp ping’

The governor, who explained that the ongoing e-registration would be a big task due to the nature of the immigrants in the afforested area of the state, urged the officers not to relent in order to achieve their goals.

“It might be a big task to register them because they might not know the importance of the registration and then give it a different meaning.

“I believe that the time has come, even if you are a Nigerian, you must have either your passport or any means of identification.

“That means as a Nigerian, come with your passport, even when you go out of the country and come back.

Speaking earlier, the comptroller said that the e-registration of immigrants had already commenced in some states, and solicited for the assistance of the state government, adding that NIS needed command office and a boat for the command’s base at Igbokoda, in Ilaje Local Government Area for effective service delivery.

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Minimal Fire Disrupts Ports & Cargo Operations, Saturday 



The Ports & Cargo Handling Services Limited, a subsidiary of SIFAX Group on Saturday, February 24, 2024, suffered a fire incident at its facility, located at the Tin Can Island Port, Apapa, Lagos.

The Sifax Public Relations Officer, Muyiwa Akande disclosed this in a statement he made available to the Maritime First, highlighting that the inferno which happened at its IT office, actually affected key IT equipment. 

“However, we are glad to report that this unfortunate incident has not resulted in any data loss due to the excellent back-up plan the company has put in place to safeguard its data. 

“While minimal disruption to our services is expected, we are currently working with all relevant agencies, especially the Nigerian Customs Service, Tin Can Island Command, to restore normal port operations latest by Monday, February 26, 2024. 

“We are using this opportunity to assure all our stakeholders, including clearing agents, consignees, and other port users that we have activated our approved business continuity plan to keep our operations running while we work assiduously to meet the scheduled date of resuming normal port operations. 

“We want to thank all stakeholders who have expressed their concerns and solidarity over the incident. 

“We are deeply grateful”, he also stated, stressing management’s sincere appreciation also to “the Customs Area Controller, Tin Can Island Command of the Nigerian Customs Service, Mr. Dera Nnadi, and his team for their swift response after the incident”.

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NAGAFF Compliance Team Conquer Field For Freight Forwarding Sector



Easter: NAGAFF tasks Freight Forwarders to Pray for Nigeria

The National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF), Compliance Team has won the long-drawn battle with the Port Standing Task Team (PSTT).

Recall that in the last quarter of 2023, a committee was established by the office of the former Vice- President, Prof. Yemi Osibajo to oversee activities at the seaports appeared at the APMT terminal with a letter directing the Deputy Comptroller to summon a stakeholders meeting, and further directing that examinations must start by 9 am and end by 2 pm.

 A statement issued by the National Coordinator of the Compliance Team, Dr. Ibrahim Tanko, the group noted that it questioned the authority of PSTT over the numerous summons and directives.

“We challenged them, physically obstructing their activities, removed their stand, seized the samples collected, and ensured their exit…”

“PSTT went ahead to set up a stand at the terminal (APMT) fully armed participating in cargo examinations and carting away samples.”

“We challenged them, physically obstructing their activities, removed their stand, seized the samples collected, and ensured their exit. They thereafter resorted to all sorts of intimidations, blackmail and harassments.”

“The home of our national coordinator was besieged on several occasions at very ungodly hours, attempting to arrest him, with invitations from the DSS, the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC), and the Zone 2 headquarters of the Nigeria Police.”

The group noted that Mr. Kayode of the APMT operations was arrested and interrogated at the state headquarters of the DSS and Zone 2, with the spurious allegation that he connived with the Compliance Team in ejecting PSTT from the seaports.

According to the Compliance Team, PSTT replicated the same corrupt operations executed in Apapa at the Tin Can Island Port.

Noting that the port industry is already overburdened by the large numbers of government agencies at the ports, Tanko argued that foisting another agency would further slow down the clearing process, making the ports one of the most expensive and cumbersome in the world.

Easter: NAGAFF tasks Freight Forwarders to Pray for Nigeria
National Chairman, NAGAFF Compliance Team, Alhaji Tanko Ibrahim

“We are glad to report that the Port Standing Task Team has been ordered never to encroach on the activities of port users and the community. Since they claimed to operate from the Shippers Council, they were to restrict themselves to their mandate and never to interfere with customs and Terminal operations”.

“By this victory, the Compliance Team reiterates its readiness to defend the interest of freight forwarders in line with our mandate as the punching arm of NAGAFF. We thank the following persons for their solidarity and support; the then Acting Customs Area Comptroller, Apapa Command, Auwal Baba Mohammed,  the Deputy Inspector-General of Police, Operations, Force headquarters, the MD, Nigerian Ports Authority, Mohammed Bello-Koko the former Executive Secretary of Nigerian Shippers’ Council, Hon. Emmanuel Jime and the management of the APMT,” the group said.

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Customs Consolidates On Technological Advancements, Boosts Trade Facilitation



The Comptroller-General of Customs (CGC), Bashir Adewale Adeniyi MFR, has conveyed a steering committee meeting to consolidate the previous gains achieved in the implementation process of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) Trade Modernization Project (TMP) aimed at enhancing trade facilitation.

In a closed-door meeting held at the Customs Corporate Headquarters in Abuja on Thursday, 15 February 2024, with members of the TMP Steering Committee, CGC Adeniyi disclosed that the project is geared towards the end-to-end automation of the processes and procedures of the NCS.

According to the CGC, the Trade Modernization Project encompasses the Unified Customs Management System, Trade Portal, and Cargo Release System, alongside Automation Services such as Big Data & AI Integration and Document Management System, as well as Transition & Handbook, covering Technology Upgrades and Enhanced Capacity Building.

The CGC noted that the project has been identified as a milestone, highlighting the significance of digitization for transparency, efficiency, and effectiveness. “It sets the stage for adapting to evolving market dynamics in trade, optimizing operations and procedures, and creating new pathways to unlock revenue streams.” The CGC emphasized 

Addressing the members of the NCS TMP Steering Committee, the CGC reiterated that the project is designed to last for twenty years and has three phases, which are Core Services, Automation Services, Transition, and Handback.

*The Comptroller General of Customs, CGC Bashir Adewale Adeniyi MFR

He said, “This project will be able to address the challenges before us, answer tough questions, and make good decisions that will propel the service forward. We will discuss some of the highlights in detail so we can review the implementation of decisions taken.”

“I’m optimistic that we will have robust discussions and make very good decisions. I’ve also seen some highlights of the reports of the last meeting. Hopefully, along the line, we will discuss those in detail,” CGC  said.

He emphasized that the Team, as it stands, has a solid foundation that will assist them in reviewing the implementation of progressive decisions.

On his part, the Chairman of the Trade Modernization Project Limited, Saleh Ahmadu, reiterated his Team’s full support for the Service.

He revealed that software has been created to integrate revenue collection to support the NCS revenue target of N6 trillion in 2024. He also expressed optimism that the steering committee will strive to overcome their everyday challenges.

“This is to support the CGC’s revenue target of 6 trillion by the year 2024, alongside the many other successes that we will share with you today. We have also faced serious challenges, particularly in sourcing foreign exchange,” he said.

“We will also extend our gratitude to the Federal Government of Nigeria and the Comptroller General of Customs for the continued support of this project. We are a lifelong partner to the Nigeria Customs Service, and together we are changing trade facilitation in Nigeria,” he added.

“We are confident that the support of the steering committee will overcome this. Mr. Chairman, sir, we have hit the ground running as promised,” he expressed.

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